Philadelphia, PA

Philly Native Steven Grasse Announced as Food & Wine 2023 Drinks Innovator Of The Year

Marilyn Johnson

Steven Grasse, a spirits maverick and booze branding expert, has been announced as a Food & Wine 2023 Drinks Innovator of the Year. Grasse is the owner and founder of Tamworth Distilling, a rural New Hampshire craft distillery known for its scratch-made, garden-to-glass ethos.
Steven Grasse will be honored as a Drinks Innovator of the Year at Aspen's 2023 FOOD & WINE Classic.Photo bySteven Grasse

He is also the owner and founder of Quaker City Mercantile, a creative agency headquartered in Philadelphia that has created well-known brands such as Hendrick's Gin, Lo-Fi Aperitifs, and the re-invigoration of Miller High Life.

Additionally, he is the owner and founder of Art in the Age, Philadelphia's premier designer cocktail bar and tasting room, home bar supply, and bottle shop.

Grasse's standout accomplishments and borderline zany ideation pouring from Tamworth Distilling have earned him the recognition of Food & Wine 2023 Drinks Innovator of the Year, which spotlights "Groundbreaking Talents Who Are Changing The Way We Drink For The Better."

Grasse and the Tamworth Distilling team will attend the annual FOOD & WINE Classic held in Aspen, Colorado, where they will accept the award and showcase some of their flagship innovations.

Since its inception in 2015, Tamworth Distilling has been a dynamic force in the spirits world, venturing where few distillers have dared. Grasse weaves the history, flora, and fauna of New Hampshire into every spirit, with flagship products including Tamworth Garden Damson Gin, House of Tamworth Crab Trapper Whiskey, and more. These spirits are crafted using produce grown literally in the distillery's backyard. Grasse has also created a whiskey with an invasive species of green crabs, venison and turkey-infused whiskies, and a line of genuinely garden-to-glass "backyard gins."

The FOOD & WINE Classic will take place from June 16-18, 2023, and the wine/cocktail tasting seminars and cooking demonstrations will take place in hotels and tents within the city parks in Aspen. The Grand Tasting Pavilion is located in Wagner Park, in the center of Aspen.

Marilyn Johnson is a freelance food and travel writer covering the food and drink scene of Philadelphia, South Jersey food, the greater Mid-Atlantic area, and beyond. Email Marilyn at with food and travel news. If you liked this article, throw Marilyn a coffee! Follow Marilyn on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

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Marilyn Johnson is a Philadelphia area-based food and travel writer focusing on food & drink in the Mid-Atlantic region—email for Philly area news; for Mid-Atlantic food news.

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